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  • Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, previously this year had called for boycotting U.S. products in response to sanctions.

    Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, previously this year had called for boycotting U.S. products in response to sanctions. | Photo: EFE

Published 26 February 2020
Opinion

The department blacklisted Beirut-based Atlas Holding and its affiliates as "Specially Designated Global Terrorists."

United States Treasury Department blacklisted Wednesday several companies and individuals of investment firms in Lebanon, accusing them of being owned or controlled by Hezbollah's Martyrs Foundation.

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The department blacklisted Beirut-based Atlas Holding and its affiliates as "Specially Designated Global Terrorists," therefore, the targeted individuals' and companies' assets in the U.S. territory are frozen and prohibits U.S. nationals from doing business with them.

"Hezbollah profits from the sale of goods vital to the Lebanese peoples’ health and economies, such as pharmaceuticals and gasoline," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

"The Trump administration stands with the Lebanese people, and we are committed to exposing and holding accountable Hezbollah's terror-funding business schemes."

The sanctions come as a part of the Trump administration plans to apply maximum pressure campaign against Iran at a time when Lebanon's Central Bank is struggling to stabilize the country's currency amid widespread anger at the government's corruption and mismanagement.

Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, previously this year had called for boycotting U.S. products in response to sanctions. "Economically, they are trying to subdue the entire world through sanctions," he said.

The sanctions will also affect Kassem Mohamad Ali Bazzi, Jawad Nur-al-Din and Sheikh Yusuf Aasi, whom the Treasury accused of being senior officials at Atlas Holding and the Martyrs Foundation.

Aasi was identified last year by a Hezbollah-linked magazine as a senior aide to the general secretary of the Martyrs Foundation, which allocates monthly allowances to the families of Hezbollah fighters killed, captured or wounded in battle, Common Dreams reported.

The U.S. Treasury said Nur-al-Din is the leader of the foundation. According to Lebanese media reports, he also serves on Hezbollah's shura council - the group's governing body. Bazzi was identified in the US statement as the CEO of Atlas Holding.

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